Rachmaninov: Trio élégiaque No. 2 - Lied - 2 Pie

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Catalog: BRI96563

Trio RoVerde

As a young man; fresh from his first real success as a composer with the opera Aleko; Rachmaninoff was on his way to visit his mentor Tchaikovsky when he saw a crowd gathered outside. The news of Tchaikovsky’s death sent him into a tail-spin; and he passed the next few weeks alone; walking and writing this magnificent ‘Trio Elegiaque’ in memory of Tchaikovsky. Although the Trio is an early work; it bears the unmistakable imprint of Rachmaninoff’s musical personality. His virtuosity as a pianist is manifest throughout in the writing for his own instrument; but there are passages of no less glittering brilliance for the strings. The piece as a whole is conceived on the grandest scale; at around 50 minutes in length; emulating the example and form of the ‘Trio Elegiaque’ which Tchaikovsky had composed in memory of Nikolai Rubinstein. No understanding of Rachmaninoff is complete without the Trio; and this anniversary year; 150 years since his birth; has produced a magnificent new recording made by the established international collective of Trio RoVerde. The trio’s pianist is Ekaterina Litvintseva; ‘the Arctic Circle Pianist’ now resident in Germany; who has several highly praised recordings on Brilliant Classics to her name including a personal choice of solo works by the pioneering Croatian composer Dora Pejacevic (PCL10226): ‘Ekaterina Litvintseva has been amassing a distinguished discography – and this … exhibits the combination of sensitivity and self-assurance that have marked her playing up until now… you owe it to yourself to make the acquaintance of Dora Pejacevic.’ The Trio RoVerde has also recorded the Triple Concerto of Beethoven; on a 2021 album (96483): ‘Litvintseva plays with ease and grace … The musicians play well together; seamlessly trading off and matching each other’s sound.’ (Fanfare). Alongside the Trio are two complementary sets of salon pieces by the young Rachmaninoff; dating from his years as a prodigious student but already infused with the potent strain of yearning Romanticism that would carry his name far and wide: Two Pieces Op.2 for cello and piano; and two Morceaux de salon Op.6 for violin and piano.

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